• Director: Nicole Scherg
    Cinematography: Martin Prast
    Editing: Antonio Meier

  • duration: 35'
  • production year: 2004
  • original title: Grosseltern
  • genre: Biography, Elderly, Human Interest, Personal Viewpoint, Portrait, Social

What happens when people get old? This is one of the questions that led me to make a film on my grandparents. By observing them in their daily lives, I tried to focus on the changes that old age had foisted upon them. My grandmother's frailty and my grandfather's senility made their relationship almost symbiotic, in which she supplied the brain and he supplied the body. Without being able to count on one another, both would have been lost. But by joining forces, they were able to get along without much outside help. The making of this film allowed me the chance to get back in touch with my grandparents one more time, and to dedicate all my attention to them. My aim was to document two people who have been near and dear to me for as far back as I can remember. During filming I realized how unstable and precarious their situation really was. My concerns, especially with regard to my grandmother, made this a very difficult job. The conflict that arose due to my dual role as director and granddaughter became more pressing as the project continued. As a director, I insisted on themes that, as a granddaughter, I would have left alone. I asked questions which otherwise would have been ignored. I looked for things that I would never have wanted to see. For me, the director's role opened the door to the woman behind the figure of my grandmother and allowed me to discover her unexpressed needs.